Is your business showing any signs of madness?

It was Albert Einstein who famously said – The first sign of insanity is when we keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

For most of us this time of year is one of reflections for businesses and for your personal goals and making plans for next year.

What has worked for you in 2016, what to ditch and what do you need to change for the better.

Being a keen sportsman I like to make analogies with sport and business as there are some great comparisons

The England football Team and the position of manager is a great example of this.

Gareth Southgate as most of us who follow football has now been appointed.  Let’s just take a closer look at this for a moment. It is not my intention to slate our new manager but to look at the credentials and the job required.

After all if there was a position that needs radical change the England Football Managers job is the one

And yet the FA decides to appoint someone who will give us the same as before – and bizarrely expecting a different result aka Albert Einstein

Gareth is a nice guy granted but what real qualifications for the job does he really have to offer that are different?

Ex-player well respected for club and Country

Ex Manager with Middlesboro (not particularly successful)

England U21 (Knows the FA, limited success, but not a top flight position)

Being an ex-player he bonds well with the players but does he have real authority and will he make a difference?

My point here is not about Gareth Southgate but about what our expectations are. For the last 20 years (of hurt) the England Team have failed to deliver. We manage to get all our talent together training and get them playing worse than when they assembled! We don’t expect to win everything but want to see something we are proud of. We have been both very disappointed and disillusioned

If we do not have world class players then playing to a system and as a Team are paramount

To get the job he had a trial period where grant you he has delivered results (against average opposition ie Malta and Scotland) but have got us playing the same way as before  – ie as if we have never played together before and no real system that is evident

It is like keeping everything the same and expecting a different result! Hand on heart is anybody expecting anything different under this new management. 

Lets just switch codes for a moment to Rugby Union and look at the transformation that Eddie Jones has made for England. Has he made a difference? Yes.  Do the Team respect him? Yes. Are they getting results? Yes – unbeaten in 2016. Do we believe in him? Yes

On top of this he has personality – he even decided to visit our local towns rugby Team (Maidenhead) and took a couple of coaches with him to do a random training session with them. He is interested in what is going on at grass roots and delivering value. Imagine being one of the players for that squad and he rocks up? What a motivational boost that is!

Why cannot the FA see the blindly obvious? And at the end of the day they are a business like yours or mine. Why should football be different? 

You have to ask what does the job allow you to do?

Well, be the figure head and pick the Team ( oh and don’t leave out Wayne Rooney as he will only get upset)and watch a number of premiership games throughout the year. Also pick up £1.8m in the process and be right as far as the FA are concerned. Not what I call a full time job! And the past managers are looking out for another job to do to keep them busy ie Sam and Sven. So there is zero chance of improvement on the past, based on the above.

All we have is a hope for a miracle!

When we take a look at our businesses particularly ahead of a new year and new starts we have to ask ourselves what is working and what is not. Then decide on our path for future success.

Unlike the FA we do not have the luxury of a bottomless pit of money so if our business does not do this then we will inevitably fail

The only thing that is constant in business is change – so ditch what is not working for you and look at different ways you can change for the better. You are not going to be right every time but holding onto something is not serving you IS insanity

Wish you all well in 2017!